Seas Geosciences Welcomes Renowned Scientist and Scholar Fabio Trincardi





June 11, 2024

Marine geologist will bring insights, integrated view on working on and beneath the complex seafloor

Fabio Trincardi grew up in northeastern Italy with a deep interest in science. He was drawn to physics and philosophy, intrigued by questions on matter and reality. But it was the 1976 Friuli earthquake - known in Italy as the Terremoto del Friuli - that cemented his commitment to geology.

Fabio’s home town (Udine) was among the many towns and villages in the Friuli region

that were affected by the earthquake, which killed nearly 1,000 people, injured another 3,000 and left 157,000 people homeless. Fabio knew he could help people live in better balance with the planet if he studied geological and sedimentary processes and shared his knowledge with others. And so he did, earning a Master’s degree in geology from the University of Bologna and subsequent fellowships in geophysics and marine geology at the University of Trieste and the U.S. Geological Survey in California.

After several years working in EU-funded projects (leading Eurodela and Bluemed) and many other national projects, he was for 16 years director at CNR, Italy’s national research council. He first led the Institute of Marine Science and in the last seven years the Department of Earth Systems Science. Fabio is now bringing his passion for combating climate change and his expertise in offshore geology to Woocheen’s Seas Geosciences.

“The more I learned about Sealaska and Woocheen, the more convinced I was that this is an organization sincerely committed to sustainability” Fabio said. “As a planet, we can no longer conduct business as usual. We need to decarbonize and diminish our consumption. I encourage people to do environmental science with a sense of urgency, beside curiosity.”

Seas Geosciences’ focus on seafloor investigations to facilitate responsible development of offshore wind energy fits well with Fabio’s interests, which include evaluating the seafloor for its potential to support a sustainable “blue” economy. He will help guide and analyze marine data while studying the structure of continental margins - particularly in the Mediterranean - and the related natural hazards.

“At Woocheen, our geosciences teams focus on characterizing geology in remote, difficult environments,” said Paolo Casciotti, president of Seas Geosciences. “We are working in exceptionally deep water - often in the Mediterranean - and learning a lot. But there’s so much more to know. We are very fortunate to partner with Fabio to better understand what’s happening in and near our oceans so we can help mitigate the effects of climate change by partnering with research institutions.”

A passion for ocean health is something Fabio shares with the people of Woocheen.

“Any inspection of the Mediterranean seafloor shows how pervasive human impacts already are,” Fabio said. “Poor practices on land in the past several decades have been overlooked. We need to recover from past practices while fostering a new economy that embraces a decarbonized approach, and this is why I would like to help in the field of renewable energy offshore.”

He added: “I look forward to building ocean literacy. The global seafloor is one of the frontiers of the next century. I want the public to understand that the seafloor is a common resource and that we should care for it together.”

Indeed, the Mediterranean is a major hotspot of biodiversity, partly reflecting a very complex seafloor with seamounts, deep canyons and shallow sills that condition ocean circulation at all depths. Rocky outcrops alternate with soft sediment where the partitioning of mud and sand reflect the evolution of canyons and channels across the continental slopes.

A highlight of Fabio’s academic career has been working with students to build their knowledge and help them launch their careers, he said. Now his work with Seas Geosciences and its fellow Woocheen businesses will help him build on that success, spreading insights farther and making the most of his expertise to have a broad and meaningful impact.

“Our oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea, are extremely complex,” Fabio said. “Part of our duty as scientists and responsible stewards is to embrace that complexity. Nothing is easy about this work. And that’s what makes it fun.”